Spruce budworm

Spruce budworm egg mass surveys were completed on September 16th  in Region 1.  Out of nine sites sampled, only one had significant defoliation in 1999.  This site had moderate defoliation and had a count of five egg masses tallied.  Seven other sites had some defoliation but it appears that the larval populations collapsed during the early part of the feeding cycle.  Egg mass numbers indicate that only one site may have light to moderate defoliation in 2000.
In Region 2, 23 stands were surveyed for egg masses this fall.  Results indicate that in 2000, eight of the stands will have no defoliation, nine will have light defoliation and six will have moderate defoliation.  Spruce budworm in down but not out in Region2.

Larval, defoliation and egg mass surveys revealed that spruce budworm populations in white spruce and balsam fir are declining or remaining at low levels for a second consecutive year in most areas in Region 3.  Both springs were warm, allowing the spruce and balsam to grow and lignify their needles which prevented budworm caterpillars from obtaining enough nutrients to reach the moth stage and laying eggs.

Wood that glows in the dark???

One of Minnesota's common root and trunk-rotting fungi, Armillaria spp., emits a faint, yellow-green light that can be seen at night.  This emission of light from living organisms is called bioluminescence and it is produced by certain other fungi, some bacteria, several insects, and several marine organisms.  Armillaria is just one of the several fungi that are bioluminescent. This fungus lives as a parasite on living host tissue or as a saprophyte on dead woody material.  Armillaria is found in every State and its hosts include hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, vines and forbs growing in forests, along roadsides and in cultivated areas.  On coniferous and broad-leafed trees it feeds on roots and trunks.  Its reproductive structures are clusters of mushrooms with honey-yellow caps two to five inches across, and yellow-brown, two inch stalks.  Mushrooms are produced in late summer or autumn, especially during moist periods.  

To see this interesting light display, take a walk in the woods near dark and kick some stumps that have decayed and softened.  You may then have a shoe that also glows in the dark.